Pastor Steve Williams : Coping with Controlling People

Unhealthy Faith · 46:05 · Recorded July 10, 2016

Coping With Controlling People

1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV) “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Galatians 2:4-5; 4:17-18; 5:1 (NIV) Some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you…Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good…It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

1. Develop the savvy to spot their style.

Disrespectful of your personality.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)  You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.

John 10:18 (TEV) “No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded me to do.”

Dysgraceful in their theology.

2. Don’t swallow the diet they’re serving up!

Fears

Intimidation

Proverbs 29:25 (MSG) The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.

Guilt

Shame

Luke 11:46 (NIV) “You experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”

3. Keep good boundaries for your health’s sake.

Matthew 15:12-14 (NRSV) Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 16:6 (NIV) “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Avoid picking fights with them!

Romans 12:17-18 (NIV) Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

4. Anchor your confidence & identity in Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-8 (TLB) Just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done. Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said.

Focus on an audience of one!

John 12:42-43 (TEV) Many Jewish authorities believed in Jesus; but because of the Pharisees they did not talk about it openly, so as not to be expelled from the synagogue. They loved human approval rather than the approval of God.

  • When do you recall first consciously experiencing a person trying to manipulate or coerce you?
  • What are the “tip-offs” you’ve learned to spot in someone with an unhealthy need to control you or others?
  • Read Romans 16:17-18. Notice the number of scriptures from this message warning us to watch out for others who can ruin our faith journey. When have you seen that happen to someone that seemed to be doing well in their walk with Christ only to get sidelined by being coerced them away from their faithfulness?
  • Read Colossians 2:6-8 from this message outline. What does it mean to “live in vital union” with Jesus? What does it look like to “let your roots go down into him and draw up nourishment” from Jesus? What indicators would you look for that someone is growing in the Lord as this verse indicates? How does Philippians 1:9-11 relate to this?
  • What verses from this message are most impactful to you as you think about living a healthy faith? Why? What do you feelGod is focusing your attention on related to spiritual health in light of this message? How can your group pray for you?
  • Helping children develop a healthy sense of their own identity, learn to resist coercion and pressures to conform, and “catch” the sense of personal boundaries are critical life-skills and a worthy life long pursuit for caring parents who want them to get these skills! Two very helpful Christian books on these themes by Christian Psychologists John Townsend and Henry Cloud are: Boundaries and Boundaries for Kids. You’ll become a healthier Christian, parent and partner in your children’s future growth and success by reading and implementing the concepts Cloud and Townsend lay out.
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